Perusing the official Rift
over the past few months has revealed some disturbing insights into the
minds of most gamers. Gone are the days of wide-eyed wonder where
communities were forged by a shared struggle to overcome unforgiving
environs. They have been replaced instead by e-peen fueled races to the
top just to secure the meaningless bragging rights of doing something

Rift didn’t
create this monster, and even though they do more than most
contemporary games to promote group-based gameplay they should still
shoulder some of the blame for perpetuating it. Just how has Rift
contributed to this achievement junky culture? They have done so by
diminishing the experience of leveling a character and then over
compensating players for their achievements once at the level cap.

cries of the playerbase should fall on deaf ears as they proclaim their
boredom after chewing through content like a fat kid at an all you can
eat buffet. Even the recently introduced Instant Adventure scenarios
that launch players into a frenzy of load and go gaming have been
criticized by these voracious omnivores as being either too easy or too
light in the experience department. How can a developer win when the
players deride them for making content too easy but won’t play their
game if they can’t reach the level cap in under week?

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has tried using fully voiced story and sweeping cut-scenes to help
meter the pace, but with players hitting the level cap in a matter of
days, that seems to have failed. Seriously people, there were numerous
max-level toons before the official release! style="font-style: italic;">Rift has
tried to satiate the masses by creating and launching new content every
6 weeks. The latter hasn’t worked out very well and the former needs
more time to tell if it will be successful at keeping a long term hold
on its playerbase.

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alt="rift" src="">

The secret to much of EverQuest's
success was due directly to the fact that players were
forced to band together for survival. style="font-style: italic;">World of Warcraft
was much easier to level through, but it had the good fortune of being
the first game to ensnare the console generation. Now that this
demographic has become firmly entrenched in the genre, developers must
find a way to keep them captivated.

anyone unlock
the magical formula to keep players coming back for a long term
experience, or
are we doomed to wander the lands like Bedouins? Can the current crop
players learn to enjoy the experience of a steep leveling and learning
would be
a much better question, and if they can’t should the leveling process
scrapped altogether?  As
many players
fall into the cycle of logging in solely to raid, ideas like the style="font-style: italic;">StarCraft II
mod, Starcraft Universe,
gain traction. Hybrids that skip the whole leveling
experience and give players “max level” toons to PvP and raid with, a
sort of
bastardized version of an MMOG that feels more like LoL.

Another idea, and one I would be more
interested in, is having
each accounts first character be the only one to have to struggle
through the
leveling process and then awarding high level or max level alts as a
The argument there would be that you would have tons of players that
know their class” trying to invade the end game, but let’s face it
folks –
people who have soloed to level cap in two weeks probably don’t know a
lot either.

Until we can find it within ourselves
to enjoy the journey
we will be doomed to suffering through clones of current games or
continue to
dust-bin the rest, and developers will continue to pay the price as
their games
fall by the wayside while the borg-like masses demolish each new world
in their

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our RIFT Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016